NORTH MANKATO — As a prolongedtime parts salesman, Matt Ballman was Properly-acknowledged to Lynn and Darla Austin, who for 42 yrs personaled and operated Austin’s Auto Restore.
Ballman, who had goals of proudly personaling his personal enterprise, spent 15 yrs working in native auto parts retailers, collectively with recently as district supervisor for NAPA agency.
So when the Austins have been planning for retirement, it made sense To lease Ballman Inside the spring of 2020 to study the ropes and take over the greater North Mankato repair store. A pair of months in the past, Ballman purchased the enterprise, retained all staff and stored the Austin’s Auto Restore Center identify.
“An monumental factor for me was To maintain The complete staff right here,” Ballman said. “And that i needed To maintain the acquainted hometpersonal really feel and The thought of Taking Fantastic care of the group.”
Ballman said past offering the providers clients are used to, he additionally Desires to proceed giving again to the group.
“We’re Starting to do some charity occasions, working with Toys for Tots. I even Want to do factors To promote the group and charities And Make constructive the money stays Regionally.”
Wright hereas he’s overhauling the enterprise’ internet website, Ballman isn’t planning on any huge modifications for now. “The subsequent step is To buy All of the constructings on The state of affairs After which flip the again constructing into ancompletely diffelease store stempo.”
That separate constructing has been used to retailer sure automobiles and completely diffelease gadgets. Ballman said he’d Want To transform it into ancompletely diffelease store stempo, maybe to do diesel work Or merely to have Extra room.
Austin’s is an ACDelco store and a NAPA Gold licensed store, a designation that goes to The very biggest 2% of NAPA-affiliated retailers. The seven staff at Austin additionally take ongoing teaching packages by way of ACDelco and NAPA.
Ballman said they do some fleet work and car upmaintain, however their bread and howeverter is repairs.
In 1979, Solely a yr after being married, the Austins purchased The earlier Hilltop Citgo gasoline station in Mankato. Located on Madison Avenue subsequent to Swiss & Madison (previously Charley’s), the station was transformed into an auto repair store.
“We have been tright here till 1987 After which moved up right here,” Lynn said.
The constructing Austin’s is in, simply dpersonal The road from Culver’s, was a former constructing curlease center.
The Austins are proud their staff have been all with them A while. “All The staff have been right here A very Very prolonged time. We now Have not any flipover,” Lynn said.
The Austins said they’re having fun with their new stage in life, however Lynn said after 4 many yrs of working the store, he’s nonetheless getting used to retirement.
“It’s undoubtedly A particular tempo.”